Saturday, December 16, 2017

Why People Are Anti-Gun

Some people assume that antigunners are driven by police state desires or emotional reactions to the latest tragedy.  Often, it goes much further back.  You probably know that astronaut Mark Kelly is married to Gabby Giffords who was a member of Congress until a psychotic named Loughner shot her among many others.  You probably also know both are active gun banners now.  I am reading his twin brother Scott Kelley's Endurance: A Year in Space, a Lifetime of Discovery which I am much enjoying.

Scott describes growing up in New Jersey, the son of a police officer:
Sometimes my father's cop friends would come over to our house for parties, and when they got drunk they would pull their guns out.  Once, my father wanted to show off his new gun to his partner, so they decided to use a wooden sculpture I had just made in school as a target.  I had brought it home and showed it proudly to my parents, and I was heartbroken that my dad would blast holes in my artwork. [pp.35-36]
Any guesses how far back his brother's feelings about guns go?

When I first started working at HP in Boise, I put up a Wall Street Journal article outside my cubicle  about the then-developing Bellesiles scandal and my part in exposing it.  A secretary became immediately freaked out, and showed it to my boss, who calmed her down by pointing out that I was an historian.  I talked to her about it later.  Her experience with gun owners was her father who never hunted sober and had a long history of accidental discharges in the house.  And this was an Idaho native!

From reading your comments: Even if Mark Kelley intellectually knows that his father is not a typical gun owner there will be an emotional response that is hard to overcome.  Many years ago, I worked with a guy who had suffered a very Los Angeles experience.  He and wife had just come home, the screen door was closed but not the front door (warm Los Angeles night), and three black guys smashed through the door, tied him up, gangraped his wife and forced him to watch, then stole everything of value and much that was not: their wedding pictures: why?  LAPD took huge numbers of fingerprints but never ran them.  It wasn't a serious enough crime.  Their marriage almost collapsed.

Now intellectually, he knew this was just those three black guys, but when we hired three black guys some months later and they walked into the office, he started to shake.  Irrational?  Yes.  Surprising?  No.  Some traumas preclude reason.


  1. I have seen some appalling stuff though nothing this bad. Although I have come under fire 3 times by people violating Rule 4. I don't really have any idea about what to do about the less than stable people on our side of the great divide. Training is good but these people won't do it. Any ideas you have would be appreciated.

  2. The problem is that people, in general, are stupid. And, in preemption, it is not arrogance to observe and identify a hysterical response or poor intellectual development.

    Thinking is not something that occupies a significant portion of their lives. Seeing anyone doing anything in violation of a standard does not argue against doing something correctly. But, understanding that premise would require the ability to comprehend and compose rational arguments.

    I have neither the time nor the inclination to discuss anything with individuals who lack the desire or ability to reason.

    Remember, it is not what the pigs do to the pearls that is most important. It is what they then turn and do to you.

  3. Guns and alcohol don't mix well and don't handle guns if you aren't sober...

    I have known guys who won't go out to hunt without loading up cases of beer and bottles of Jack Daniels in the vehicle...sorry, but I would never go out to the wilderness with anyone that needs to take that along. Now when we get back to civilization and the guns are put away I''ll buy the first rounds (and I'll stop after one drink---I'm so boring...).

  4. We all know there are people out there who are too irresponsible to be allowed to possess firearms. The problem becomes how to deny them access without denying access to those who act responsibly.

  5. I am not sure there is any good answer to this Police view themselves as superiorly trained to our military because of who they are and incidences like the recent Texas church shooter who was relieved of his military duties but not placed on the nation list of people prohibited from owning a firearm. And yet I know of several cases where trained officers fired their guns while drunk, left firearms in reach of children and even committed homicide against people for minor infractions of the law.

    The gun control movement aligns with the Police unions, many times because they have relatives that were cops and they were taught to always trust them with firearms. My relatives were mostly Army brats who were taught to trust the armed forces. This leaves a very large group in the middle who either don't own guns and are looking for security in "professionalism" or are learning to own guns to defend them selves. And yes, we have too many "hunters" who don't take that activity seriously.

  6. That was an unbelievably cruel thing for a father to do. As someone with several family members in law enforcement, I can't but think such behavior would get an officer fired from the force. As sad as it makes me feel, I must also ask two questions: Where was Mom? And does Scott Kelley think every other gun owner in America is capable of such rotten behavior?